Once upon a time, I read a lot. I read everything I could get my greedy little paws on. And then I went to law school and I all-but stopped reading anything but cases and fanfiction.

Recently, however, I have been tearing through books, which makes me exceedingly happy with myself. I was always proud of my voracious reading habits, and I had missed books more than I really even knew. Moreso, I missed that desire to read. It's terrible to say, but for a little while, I didn't really want to read that much. I comforted myself by reminding myself that I really was reading enough fanfic to fill several novels, but it just wasn't the same. It's just not as satisfying to read something on a computer screen instead of in a book. And even though I know that some of the fics I've read have contained as many words as some of my favorite novels, the factual knowledge of the word count doesn't strike me the same as the page count for a nice, long book.

I also recently realized how badly I have been neglecting my journals in recent years, both this one and my real hard-copy journal. For several years I updated each of these fairly regularly, but for a few years now I've hardly updated either at all. I would also like to rectify that. I don't do it enough, but the truth is that I really enjoy writing, particularly in the personal essay format that LJ/Dreamwidth and hard-copy journals encourage most.

And it strikes me that perhaps the best way to begin pushing myself to write more would be to start by writing about the thing I'm happiest about lately. I'm going to try to start writing reviews again (which will, of course, include tv and movies), but for right now I'll just start by listing out what I've been reading in the past few months along with a few notes.

Up first are Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books. I've read all of them except the latest hardback and the book of short stories (though I'll finish that one tonight). I have to admit I really have enjoyed reading these books, despite the fact that they could be classified as vampire romance. My favorite characters in the books (and the TV series True Blood) are Sam, Eric, and Pam. The characters are what really carry the stories for me. The weakest part of Harris' novels is the actual writing - she's not the worst writer I've ever read, her writing's just sort of bland. There is no beauty to her sentences, no elegance to her word choices, and I do find myself missing that when I read her books. As far as the stories themselves go, they're light, fun reads that are really perfect for the summer. Oh, and I appreciate Harris' respect for the vampire - her vampires don't sparkle and are actually dangerous.

In addition to ripping through the Harris novels, I've been reading Jim Butcher's Dresden series. I had previously listened to the audiobooks of Storm Front and Fool Moon (Dresden books 1 and 2), and thanks to my enjoyment of those (read by the wonderful James Marsters), I had also picked up a paperback of Grave Peril. Sadly, Grave Peril was to languish on my bookshelves for a few years. However, when I finished off Harris, I decided I was in the mood to read about the misadventures of Harry Dresden, Consulting Wizard. I started with Grave Peril, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then I picked up a copy of Storm Front and actually read it. (And I'm currently relistening to Fool Moon during my morning and afternoon commute.) Quickly, I'd say that I like Butcher's characters, even though both Susan Rodriguez and Karrin Murphy feel like cliches sometimes, at least they're likeable cliches. I really love how Butcher combines pulp detective novels with magic and the supernatural. I also have to say that his writing seemed to get stronger and better with each of the novels I read so that by the third novel I found myself appreciating his sentence structures and word choices.

Last night I finished reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I would write about it here, but frankly, I don't have time. I've already done two other series' injustice by writing such short little rambly pieces about them, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is more complex than either of them. I'll attempt to write about it next. (And I hope to expand on the other two.)

Right now I'm halfway through the book of Sookie Stackhouse short stories. I expect to finish it tonight. After it, I'm planning to read Wil Wheaton's Just a Geek. Sadly, my pile of unread books multiplies faster than I'm capable of reading. I'm like the kid whose eyes are bigger than her stomach - it's just that my eyes are bigger than my freetime.
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